Sunday, April 1, 2018

$10-$20 Will Get You a lot of Good Wine from Argentina & Chile

Argentina and Chile are goldmines of delicious, inexpensive wines, and here in America we receive a lot of different options.

I recently tasted through a bung of $10-$20 wines from South America, and was really impressed with the diversity, quality and value. There are a few Malbecs in this report, along with some really solid wines from Chilean heavyweight producer Concha y Toro’s Serie Riberas lineup. And the sparkling wines from Mendoza’s Domaine Bousquet seem perfect for the inexpensive summer sparkler category.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. 

N.V. Domaine Bousquet Brut - Argentina, Mendoza
SRP: $13
Rich golden color. Nose boasts rich apricot, honey and yellow flowers. Plump texture on the palate but such zesty acidity, and this has a refreshing dryness for a Charmat method sparkler. Lemon curd, apricot and nectarine topped in floral perfume, chalk dust, stony minerals. Fresh and lively but some honey and clove notes on the finish. Drinkers of inexpensive Prosecco looking to up their game a bit, try this delicious sparkler, a blend of 75% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir. (88 points)

N.V. Domaine Bousquet Brut Rosé - Argentina, Mendoza
SRP: $13
Very pale copper color. Smells of strawberries, red apple peel, raspberry leaf, nettle, and some musk. Zippy and lively with pleasantly light bubbles and flavors of strawberries and watermelon slices. A streak of nettle, white pepper and raspberry leaf, with some chalky, floral tones. Pleasant, refreshing, very good for the price. 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. (87 points)

2016 Trivento Malbec Reserve - Argentina, Mendoza
SRP: $11
Light purple color. Aromas of raspberry, strawberry am, roses and vanilla. Medium-bodied, fresh acidity, soft tannins, tangy red cherries and raspberry jam, with roses, cola, vanilla coffee, and a spicy herbal note. Fun, fresh and nice for the price. (86 points)

2015 Trivento Malbec Golden Reserve - Argentina, Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo
SRP: $21
Rich purple color. On the nose: plums, juicy blackberries, cocoa, anise cookie, scorched earth and vanilla. Full-bodied with smooth tannins and fresh acidity. Tangy black cherries and blackberries, bold but nuanced, with flavors of cocoa, vanilla, espresso, violets and scorched earth. (88 points)

2016 Concha y Toro Chardonnay Gran Reserva Serie Riberas - Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua
SRP: $17
Medium yellow color. Aromas of lemon curd, baked apple, yellow flowers, chalk dust, hazelnut and sea salt. On the palate, I love the lively acidity and freshness, and it fits nicely with the creamy texture. Peaches, nectarine and yellow apple fruit blends with chalk, limestone, saline and honeyed white tea notes. Rich but zesty, with lingering minerality and vibrancy. Very impressive, serious stuff, especially for the price. Fermented and aged 10 months in French oak (only 10% new). (88 points)

2016 Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva Serie Riberas - Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley
SRP: $17
Rich purple color. Smells of smoky black currants, tart blackberries, waves of rich dark fruit, along with charcoal, cedar, pipe tobacco and graphite. Medium-bodied with fresh acidity and structured but silky tannins. Pure, dark but crisp fruit (cherries and currants), laced with vanilla, charcoal, scorched earth, graphite and violets. Rich, smooth, delicious, such high quality and deliciousness for the price. (89 points)

2016 Concha y Toro Malbec Casillero del Diablo Reserva - Chile
SRP: $12
Vibrant purple color. Aromas of tangy plums, sweet cherries, violets, coffee, vanilla. Medium-bodied with fresh acidity and soft tannins. Ripe plum and cherry fruit, fun and pleasant, with notes of violet, cola and vanilla. A nice intro to what Chile has to offer in this price range. (85 points)

2015 Concha y Toro Malbec Gran Reserva Serie Riberas - Chile, Colchagua Valley, Marchigue
SRP: $17
Bright purple color. Dark and saucy plums on the nose, black cherries, sweet cocoa, eucalyptus, vanilla. The palate starts and finishes with refreshing acidity, velvety but dry tannins, tart black cherries and red and black currants. The fruit is laced with charcoal, dark earth, cocoa, touches of vanilla and cedar on the finish. Delish, but also complex and balanced. Very impressive. (90 points)

This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist.

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